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Starlink: Battle for Atlas is a science fiction action-adventure video game developed by Ubisoft Toronto and published by Ubisoft. It was released on October 16, 2018 for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The game also features optional toys-to-life elements.

Unique to the Nintendo Switch version is the cross over of the Star Fox series, also in application to the toys-to-life.

Premise

Star Fox meet Starlink

Fox following in his Zero design.

The game is set in the Atlas star system located in the Taurus constellation. Early on in the game, the players' mother ship, Equinox, was ambushed by The Forgotten Legion and crashed on a nearby planet. The captain of the ship was taken hostage by the Legion. The Forgotten Legion, lead by Grax, was obsessed with an extinct race called The Wardens, who had left a lot of their ancient technology behind. Grax, who wants to use such technology for his own legion, will become a constant threat that the player must face throughout their journey.

Exclusive to the Nintendo Switch version, is the cross over of the Star Fox series, where Fox McCloud, Falco Lombardi, Peppy Hare and Slippy Toad provide aid to the main Starlink characters while on their mission to hunt down Wolf O'Donnell.

Gameplay

Starlink Arwing

Starlink's Arwing design.

Starlink: Battle for Atlas is an action-adventure game third-person perspective set in the Atlas star system. The player ventures into different parts of the Atlas system, meet with different aliens species and form an alliance with them in order to build a crew. Forming these alliances changes the game's world state, which will then changes the gameplay experience. In the game, the player can use their spaceships to freely explore the open Atlas system. Split-screen multiplayer mode is also featured in the game, allowing two players to explore the space and planets together. All ships can take off into space, and skim on planet's surface. The transition between space and planet surface is described as "seamless". Each planet has their own landscape, story, hazards, flora and fauna that may become a threat to the player. The player can also engage in both space- and land-based combat with enemies using spaceships. These spaceships can be extensively customized with different parts. Wings, weapons, and spacecraft modules can be freely swapped at will. The player is encouraged to experiment with different combinations of weapons as different enemies react differently to attacks. Pilots are also present and has special abilities that can be utilized in combat. For instance, one type of pilot can slow down time. There are 4 types of ships and pilots.

Starlink Star Fox Toys to life

Toys-to-life accessories.

While the game can be played digitally, the game features toys-to-life elements in which the player can buy toys, which are ship components, for the game. The player can place their toys on a custom controller mount, and their digital counterpart will appear on-screen. When the player swap the components of their real-life toy ships, its counterpart will also reflect such changes instantly. Each ship has two points which allows the player to connect spacecraft parts with the ships. Purchasing a physical part also unlocks its digital counterpart, meaning that the player does not necessarily have to use the toys and the controller mount to play the game.

Star Fox references

Starfox1993

In the announcement trailer, when the pilot attempts to reach out for aid, she is answered by the voice of Fox McCloud and Peppy Hare, speaking in the Lylat Language stylized in the game.

Star Fox 64 logo
  • Fox recites his "rock and roll" quote he spoke at the start of the Corneria mission in Star Fox 64 and subsequent rereleases and remakes.
  • Not in the game itself, but the September 13 Nintendo Direct Clip for Starlink's title, "Playtime is over, Starlink", is a paraphrase of Wolf's line to Fox McCloud on Bolse. Similarly, the narrator opens the segment with "Don't get too cocky, Star Fox", which is what Wolf declares upon arriving at Venom with the Wolfen II.

Star-fox-zero
  • Fox McCloud greatly resembles his character design used in-game and in artworks. The Arwing resembles it's Zero appearance, complete with yellow tipped wings, but follows the art-style of Starlink and has aesthetic high-functionallity akin to Star Fox: Assault.
    • Similarly, Falco Lombardi, Slippy Toad, and Peppy Hare share a similar character design used in-game and artworks.
    • Wolf O'Donnell resembles his design from Star Fox Zero.

Development

The idea of bringing Fox into Starlink began at E3 2017. At the time, Ubisoft had a single private room to showcase the game, and a few executives from Nintendo came by. This visit was repeated three or four times, to the point where President of Nintendo of America, Reggie Fils-Aimé, arrived. Afterwards, the developers were invited to Nintendo HQ in Japan to showcase the game to Shigeru Miyamoto and he entire original Star Fox development team. The developers pitched the idea of integrating Fox into Starlink, giving him his own special abilities and his own skill tree, like any of the other pilots. They also pitched the Arwing as a modular ship, just like all the other Starlink ships. Miyamoto was given a 3D printed Arwing. Ubisoft was later given the go-ahead to integrate Fox.

Video

Star Fox Starlink Battle for Atlas E3 2018 reveal Trailer

Star Fox Starlink Battle for Atlas E3 2018 reveal Trailer

References